A young man was bitten in the face by a rattlesnake Tuesday afternoon in the Bostwick area of Putnam County, authorities said.
The man, believed to be in his 20s, was conscious but in critical condition, said Battalion Chief Paul Flateau, spokesman for Putnam County Fire and EMS. He said the man was airlifted to a hospital after the snake bite was reported about 4:30 p.m. along Airport Estates Road off U.S. 17.
A 911 call log indicated the man was bitten on the tongue. It’s unclear how the bite occurred or whether the snake was domesticated, Flateau said. In Florida, it’s illegal to capture or keep a rattlesnake without a venomous reptile license.
The snake is believed to be an eastern diamondback rattlesnake. They’re the largest venomous snake in North America, according to National Geographic, and their bites can be deadly to humans.
Flateau said witnesses had the snake, though he did not know whether it was alive.
The chief encouraged people to take stock of their surroundings when they’re outside, particularly given the hot, dry weather of late and rash of brush fires.
“Any of these areas that have had recent brush fires, chances are there’s going to be wildlife that comes out of there as well,” Flateau said. “And a lot of times there’s snakes as well.”
Garrett Pelican: (904) 359-4385